Okayafrica’s “Riddim and Beats” Fused Several Musical Genres
On Thursday, August 10, 2017, Okayafrica, a company which fuses music, fashion and culture, presented “Riddim and Beats” at Lincoln Center. The diverse crowd awaited the excited line up, which included D’banj, Sister Nancy,and The Compozer. More After The Jump…
The Master of Ceremonies, Humble Prince, Olu, exuded a great energy tohype up the crowd. The critically acclaimed, London-based quartet “The Compozers,” opened the show, sending shock waves through the crowd with instrumental of renditions of: Fat Joe- “Lean Back,” Bell Bive Devoe (BBD)- “Poison,” Montel Jordan -“This Is How We do It,” Cisco’s -“Thong Song” and DJ Khaled featuring Rhianna and Bryson Tiller “Wild Thoughts,” to name a few.
Photographed Above: The Compozers and Master of Ceremonies, Humble Prince, Olu.
Next up was dancehall’s first Femme Fatale DJ and singer “Sister Nancy.” She began her segment with a sermon-like discussion of love and the need for unity: “We all must truly love one another if we want to unite.” -Sister Nancy affirmed. The crowd eagerly held on to her words of wisdom, especially with the racially charged events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, just a few days prior to the concert. Some people lifted praises and hands in the air as she spoke about the need for solidarity. The Queen then went into some of her lengendary hits -“One Two,””‘Gwan A School”, and ignited the crowd with the 1982 release, “Bam Bam.”This is one of her greatest hits used in many commercial ads and even sampled on Jay-Z’s 4:44 album released in 2017. The crowd response to this song reminded me of a scene from the movie “Belly.” Quite frankly “Sister Nancy” still has it; the performance capacity to stir a crowd. Not only did she own this stage, she actually used it as a platform to educate and empower many people at once. Sister Nancy exemplifies “ Black Girl Magic” and how your God-given gifts will always stand out in a crowd.
Photographed Above: Sister Nancy blazing it up on the microphone.
Surprise Guest, Dancehall King, Rayvon came out and serenaded the crowd briefly with songs like “Angel” (a mega international hit with Shaggy) and “Girl Fresh.” His youthful appearance and energetic performance,left the crowd wanting more.
Photographed Above: Rayvon singing smash hit “Angel.”
The final performance of the night was by Nigeria’s D’Banj. The “KoKo Master’ delivered a Carnival worthy opening performance with Michael Jackson inspired choreography, interlaced with pivotal moments of crotch grabbing. He then soothed the crowd with the moving lyrics of “On Top of the World.” D’banj’s overall performance was riveting, magnetic, sensual, and spiritual all in one, proving why he is a reigning King of Afrobeat.
Photographed Above: D’banji delivering a crowd stirring performance.
There is something really special about open air concerts, from the diverse crowd to the summer breeze, but Okayafrica “Riddim and Beats” concert raised the bar. The concert fused multiple musical genres and showcased an overflowing amount of talent, all for the satiating price of free; for the entire family. Okayafrica’s CEO, Abiola Oke closed the concert with the words: “Africa is the past, present, and the future.” This resonated with the crowd because of the uplifting music, vibration raising beats, and enlightening messages presented. What they say is true, some of the best things in life are free.
Photographed Above: Qwana Reynolds-Frasier with her niece, London Greene and Okayafrica CEO, Abiola Oke.
Written by Qwana Reynolds-Frasier
About The Author:
“Qwana Reynolds-Frasier is a published author and motivational speaker. In 2013, she made her debut as an author, with a book entitled , “Friend In Your Pocket.” In this inspirational text, the City College University of New York alumnus, uses daily dialogue as a self-motivating tool to inspire the reader to overcome adversity and become equipped with the positive self-talk to reach for their highest aspirations.” –Angel (Charlene Wiggins)
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